Image of the City of Regina

Report a water main break

Water main breaks reaching record high levels

August and September are historically the months where Regina experiences the highest number of water main and service connection breaks. We plan for this. This year, it has been extremely challenging. Where we would normally expect to have five or six leaks waiting for repair, as of August 29, 2017, we have about 65 running leaks. We are constantly re-evaluating based on the latest information available.washout

Given the extreme hot, dry conditions we’ve seen this summer, it may reach record high levels of water main and service connection breaks and leaks in 2017.

This is normal work for us, but at a much higher volume. We are experts at this work and taking extra measures to reassign workers to complete repairs quickly and safely.

We thank you for your patience. You can help by reporting water breaks or changing conditions at a water main break to Service Regina at 306-777-7000.

 

What is going on below ground?

City of Regina water crews work on many underground assets. Right now, the dry conditions are resulting in:

  • Water main breaks: typically impacts a larger group
  • Service connection: typically affects one household

What happens when you report a leak?

The Emergency Services Unit is dispatched to assess and prioritize the leak and if required, put up safety barricades or arrange for traffic restrictions. Leaks are prioritized based on severity, whether residents are without service and how many are out of service due to a single leak/break.

To keep up with the number of breaks, crews have been pulled from other work and other branches. Five crews are working to repair as many leaks as they can, as quickly as possible. Crews have been working over weekends on high-volume streets and/or especially large breaks.

Crews are dispatched based on priority. Due to the unpredictability of where the leaks will occur and how severe the leaks are, we are unable to give definite timeline of when a particular repair will be completed.

Water Main Breaks

What causes a water main break?

When the weather is extremely hot and dry in summer or cold in the winter, we can see sharp increases in water main breaks. That is what’s happening this year in Regina. Our older water mains are typically constructed out of more rigid material like concrete or cast iron which are more likely to break in our clay soils in hot, dry weather.

How many water main breaks have we had this year?

As of August 29, 2017, we have had more than 102 water main breaks this month. The City’s five-year average is 20. Our main break records go back to 1979 and, in that time, we have only had one year with more than 50 water main breaks - in 2003, with a total of 72. This August, we have clearly exceeded that record.

How many households can be affected if there is a water main break?

A water main break will typically affect one block, both sides of the street. A service connection leak typically affects one household or business. Please note that in most cases, water service is maintained except during the actual repair. This is why residents may see running water on streets.

 

Service Connection Leaks/Breaks

What causes a service connection leak/break?

Service connections and water mains break for various reasons. Various types of lines are most vulnerable at the connection point. Service connections may leak at the curb box, where the shut off valve is located (normally on the property line at the front of the property). Leaks can also occur where the service connection attaches to the water main. While leaks and breaks are more likely at connection points, the line may also break elsewhere due to ground shifting or other factors. The service connection is the water pipe that connects the water main on your street to the water pipe inside your home.

How many connection leaks/breaks have we had this year?

We do not typically see as many service connection leaks caused by extreme weather, since connections are generally made of more flexible material such as copper or poly pipe. This year, we have had about 71 service connection leaks in August, The five-year average for the month is 45. The record high for connection leaks was 79 in August 2003. We may break this record as well in 2017.

What happens if I have no water service?

Whenever possible, we inform the households and businesses that will be affected before we turn the water off so they can draw water for essentials such as drinking and cooking. If we weren’t able to give notice or if a resident wasn’t at home to be notified, we have several options to provide water.

There are two water tankers that we send out to our larger breaks. The tanker is set up on the street and individuals can come to fill their personal containers as needed.

If the tanker is not set up at your location or if you can’t get to the tanker for a particular reason (such as mobility concerns), we will deliver jugs of water to your home. Contact Service Regina at 306-777-7000 and let them know you need water delivered.

Sometimes we can provide service to an individual home or business through a hose connection to a neighbour’s home (with permission) or connection to a hydrant.